When each of my boys was born, we jokingly asked the nurses for a manual on feeding and taking care of them. They humored us, but you could tell that wasn’t the first time they’d heard that joke. When it comes to properly caring for a new LT6 engine, Chevy is getting ahead of the curve for those happy Z06 owners who are just now bringing their new “baby” home from the dealership.
This new video from Chevrolet joins a pair of Corvette Powertrain engineers, Jordan Lee (Global Chief Engineer, Small-Block V-8 Engines) and Dustin Gardner (Assistant Global Chief Engineer, Small-Block V-8 Engines), to address one of the more hotly-contested topics for owners of new autos.
Ever since motivation transferred from horseshoes to internal combustion, enthusiasts and fastidious owners have debated the proper way to break in the new engine. A proper break-in process is designed to bring all the operating tolerances between all moving parts into a working relationship with each other. Exactly how to do that has been the question for the ages, and the changing engine technologies haven’t helped to nail down a definitive answer.
Early engine technology could be considered crude by today’s standards. At the dawn of the automotive age, you could rebuild your car with a pair of pliers, an adjustable wrench, and a flat-head screwdriver. Henry F. Phillips didn’t invent the “Phillips-head screw” until 1932! Since then, technology has exploded, and operating tolerances have shrunk to amazingly-fine tolerances using as much as FIVE places to the right of the decimal point!
In this video, these two engineers focus on the proper way to operate your Z06 so that its LT6 engine gets the appropriate break-in it needs for long life. One of the critical components of breaking in an engine is getting the proper, minute wear on everything so there will be optimal performance and minimal unwanted wear down the road. Jordan leads the discussion by explaining the tolerances within the engine’s bearings and how “driving it like you stole it” isn’t a good idea.
An add-on to the other technology found in today’s cars helps cool your jets while in that crucial “get to know time” with your new Z06. Since we KNOW many won’t read their owner’s manuals, GM’s engineers have devised a code that limits the output of the high-revving engine for the first 500 miles in an attempt to allow for proper break-in of the components. After that, the choice is all yours on how you drive your new Z-car.
While this video might not ooze with earth-shattering new information, it’s always great to gain some knowledge from those folks who designed and built the cars we drive. So check out this quick, four-plus-minute video and see what Jordan and Dustin have to say about keeping the magic moving down inside the world’s highest-horsepower, naturally-aspirated engine ever built by GM.